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Skill Gap, Skill Shortage, and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the Hospitality and Tourism Sector in Bangladesh

The hospitality and tourism sector (HTS) is one of the 15 major sectors that are used to estimate the GDP of the country. This study attempts to analyze the HTS of Bangladesh from the following perspectives: (i) the structure and contribution of HTS under the current levels and nature of skills composition, (ii) skill gaps, and skill shortages, the mismatch between the actual and desired levels of education and experience, and recruitment difficulties in the HTS together with the proximate causes and consequences, (iii) the future levels of demand for each of the major occupations disaggregated by skill levels, and (iv) the impact of COVID-19 on the enterprises, and the adaptations used to cope with the ‘new normal’ style of operations.

A primary survey was conducted with enterprises and workers from 115 hotels and resorts (categorized from 5-star to 2-star) as well as 50 travel agencies (that are members of the Association of the Travel Agents of Bangladesh) and 28 tour operators (that are members of the Tour Operator Association of Bangladesh) from Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Dhaka, and Sylhet. A total of 497 employees from these sample hotels and resorts, 46 from travel agencies, and 17 from tour operators were also interviewed.

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